Needle-Made Laces: Materials, Designs, Techniques

Pat Earnshaw, Author Ward Lock Limited. $0 (144p) ISBN 978-0-7063-6620-4
Earnshaw, a British lace collector and lace-making instructor, has compiled a clear, compact, engrossing account of how to make lace with needle and thread. Each of 12 chapters describes a distinctive lace, its history, materials and stitches, then provides a pattern with clear directions and diagrams. Earnshaw begins with the two basic methods: embroidered lace, crafted from a woven fabric by manipulating its threads, and Reticella, constructed from scratch with needle and thread, working from a drawn pattern. (Venice emerged as Reticella's production center in 1650; Venetian artisans employed 60 variations of detached buttonhole stitch to render flowing designs of plants and flowers.) After 1700 the hollie stitch was developed in England to make a dense lace of rows of close stitches interrupted by tiny gaps (dropped stitches), creating designs of great subtlety. Inevitably, time-saving techniques, such as darning stitches and tapes, were substituted for the solid areas of buttonhole stitches. Knotted laces, wheel laces, darned net and fabric applique on gauze or net introduced other techniques. Sixteen full-color pages show scores of glorious lace pieces. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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